No to urban sprawl

South Yorkshire is densely populated and one of the most built-up areas in England. So our countryside is precious. People living in cities and towns cherish the peace and calm provided by South Yorkshire's ancient woodlands, rare peat bogs, reclaimed pits, Pennine fringe landscapes and heather moorlands.


But every year our countryside shrinks and fragments under urban sprawl in the shape of new roads, housing and industrial development. Although the planning system is supposed to balance growth with the environment, it is often undermined by the need for new roads, jobs and homes. CPRE South Yorkshire lobbies for development to be steered towards existing urban areas, for our Green Belt land to be protected, and for our countryside to remain - wherever possible - unbuilt on and undisturbed for future generations.  See our planning and sustainable developments policy for more information.



Housebuilding covers more countryside than any other kind of development and creates a range of associated environmental damage, such as climate-changing greenhouse gas emissions, new roads and extra traffic, more strain on water sources, and increased quarrying in the countryside. Government regional targets are currently for nearly 5,000 new houses a year to be built in South Yorkshire. However, the new government is abolishing housing targets altogether and leaving the decisions about how many houses will be built to local authorities.

Whatever happens, we want to stop the countryside being eaten away by new housing and see urban regeneration promoted so that more use is made of previously developed brownfield land instead of greenfields. We also recognise and support the need for affordable housing in suitable locations. Please see our planning and sustainable developments policy. Over the last few years we have opposed housing developments at 

  • Auckley, east of Doncaster
  • Bassingthorpe Farm, Rotherham
  • Dinnington, south east of Rotherham
  • Hepworths site, Loxley Valley, Sheffield



Another huge threat to South Yorkshire's countryside is the increase in applications for large distribution and storage warehouses. Over recent years developers have been attracted to our region for a number of reasons including flat building land, motorway links and high unemployment levels. We have opposed plans for these giant tin sheds at

  • Armthorpe, east of Doncaster
  • Rossington Inland Port sout east of Doncaster
  • Bradholme Farm near Thorne



Roads permanently damage the character and tranquillity of an area. The land the road is built upon is destroyed, and a much wider area is also affected by increased noise and traffic. Car dependency is increased, and the viability of local shops, services and public transport in rural areas is  damaged. Building more roads brings further development pressures and generates more traffic. See our planning and sustainable developments policy for more information about where we stand.

We have opposed these road building schemes

  • FARRRS Finningley Airport link road
  • A57 widening at Todwick


More urban sprawl

We also campaign against other developments that could potentially eat up our countryside and would be better built in towns. An example of these was the 12 hectare YES! project at Rother Valley Country Park, right in the middle of Rotherham Green Belt Land.


To find out more about our campaigning work in South Yorkshire, please contact us.